• Zebras are several species of African equids (horse family) united by their distinctive
black and white stripes.
• Zebras have never been truly domesticated.
• There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy's zebra and the mountain
 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Mammalia
 Order: Perissodactyla
 Family: Equidae
 Genus: Equus
 Subgenus: Hippotigris and Dolichohippus
 Species:
 Equus zebra
 Equus quagga
 Equus grevyi
• The plains zebra and the mountain zebra belong to the
subgenus Hippotigris, but Grevy's zebra is the sole species of
subgenus Dolichohippus.
• All three belong to the genus Equus, along with other living
• Grevy's zebra and the mountain zebra are endangered. While
plains zebras are much more plentiful, one subspecies, the
quagga, went extinct in the late 19th century, though they have
now been rebred from zebra DNA.
• Zebras feed almost entirely on grasses, but may occasionally
eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark. Their digestive
systems allow them to subsist on diets of lower nutritional quality
than that necessary for other herbivores.
• When attacked by packs of hyenas or wild dogs a zebra group
will huddle together with the foals in the middle while the
stallion tries to ward them off.
• Unlike the other zebra species, Grevy's zebras do not have
permanent social bonds. A group of these zebras rarely stays
together for more than a few months. The foals stay with their
mothers, while adult males live alone. Like the other two zebra
species, bachelor male zebras will organize in groups.
• Like horses, zebras sleep standing up, and only sleep when
neighbors are around to warn them of predators
• Female zebras mature earlier than the males, and a mare may
have her first foal by the age of three. Males are not able to
breed until the age of five or six. Mares may give birth to one
foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year.
Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly
after they are born. A zebra foal is brown and white instead of
black and white at birth.
• Plains and mountain zebra foals are protected by their mothers,
as well as the head stallion and the other mares in their group.
Grevy's zebra foals have only their mother as a regular
protector, as Grevy's zebra groups often disband after a few
• Humans like to hunt zebras for their fur and meat. One whole
species of zebra was wiped out before cloning of DNA
repopulated them. Some zebras are breed in zoos so that the
numbers in population can go up, without the threat of the real
• In the wild, zebras are found in Africa. It is thought though that
the first of the zebras where from Portuguese.
• Zebras are also found in zoos around the world.
• Some wealthy people in the early 1900’s tried their hand at
domestication of zebras, and a few worked well, but the zebras
unpredictable behavior and tendency to panic under stress
provided this to be futile.
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8.^ a b Zebra stripes evolved to keep biting flies at bay, BBC News, Victoria Gill, 9 February 2012
9.^ "How do a zebra's stripes act as camouflage?". How Stuff Works. http://science.howstuffworks.com/question454.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-13.
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359". Biological Conservation 121: 351–359.
14.^ "How the Zebra Got his Stripes". Gateway Africa. http://www.gateway-africa.com/stories/How_the_Zebra_Got_his_Stripes_San.html. Retrieved
15.^ Dirks, Tim. "Fantasia (1940)". Tim Dirks. http://www.filmsite.org/fant.html. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
16.^ "Zebra Art". Artists for Conservation. http://www.natureartists.com/zebras.asp. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
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